Transitional Directive

Transitional Directive in Europe

Transitional Directives on the free movement of professionals in the European Union

Note: see information on Recognised Legal Professions in Europe.

A series of early transitional directives cover some regulated activities, such as insurance activities (agents and brokers ; all risk insurers) and other sundry trade and craft activities. These transitional directives were largely confined to removing discriminatory barriers, and did not attempt to co-ordinate qualifications nor provide for mutual recognition. They did require recognition of professional experience.

The case law of the European Court of Justice before 1996 required as a matter of general EC law that qualifications are recognised where appropriate. The Commission had, therefore, come forward (in February 1996) with a new proposal to update the transitional directives.

History of transitional directives

In the 90s, there was Commission proposal to replace the 35 transitional directives with a new combined directive that updates them and includes the right to recognition of professional qualifications as well as procedural guarantees, such as Procedural guarantees:

  • The right to a reasoned decision;
  • the right to judicial review;
  • the right to a decision on the application within 4 months

Insurance activities (agents and brokers; all risk insurers)

The insurance agents and brokers directive lists the professions covered in Article 2(2), Article 2(1) having defined the activities covered. Articles 4, 5 and 6 set out the levels of experience, knowledge or ability that must be accepted if a Member State subjects the activity to “possession of general commercial or professional knowledge of ability”. Insurance practitioners who are chartered under the Chartered Insurance Institute are covered by directive 89/48/EEC.

The sectoral directives

Another form of directive in the field of qualifications is known as the sectoral directives.

The Case law of the European Court of Justice

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